7.9/10
152,759
353 user 244 critic

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Iris Yamashita (screenplay), Iris Yamashita (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,617 ( 207)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Watanabe ... General Kuribayashi
Kazunari Ninomiya ... Saigo
Tsuyoshi Ihara ... Baron Nishi
Ryô Kase ... Shimizu
Shidô Nakamura ... Lieutenant Ito (as Shidou Nakamura)
Hiroshi Watanabe ... Lieutenant Fujita
Takumi Bando ... Captain Tanida
Yuki Matsuzaki ... Nozaki
Takashi Yamaguchi ... Kashiwara
Eijiro Ozaki ... Lieutenant Okubo
Nae ... Hanako
Nobumasa Sakagami Nobumasa Sakagami ... Admiral Ohsugi
Lucas Elliot Eberl ... Sam (as Lucas Elliot)
Sonny Saito ... Medic Endo (as Sonny Seiichi Saito)
Steve Santa Sekiyoshi Steve Santa Sekiyoshi ... Kanda
Edit

Storyline

The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. General Kuribayashi, however, does not favor the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester amongst his staff. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regime of the Japanese Army itself, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honor, courage, and horrors beyond imagination. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From Clint Eastwood, director of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, the battle of Iwo Jima seen through the eyes of the Japanese soldiers. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Watanabe visited the birthplace and grave of General Tadamichi Kuribayashi to help him build on his characterization. See more »

Goofs

In the second-to-last scene, the captured Japanese soldier is taken to the American landing zones, which were exclusively on the east of Iwo Jima, just north of Mt. Suribachi. The soldier, Saigo, then witnesses the sun 'setting' in the east, not the west. See more »

Quotes

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi: I will always be in front of you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 22 August 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet No.6, Op. 1-6, Hob. III-6, Mov.2
Composed by Joseph Haydn
At a party where Ken Watanabe participated
See more »

User Reviews

 
The landscape of war
28 December 2006 | by BroadswordCallinDannyBoySee all my reviews

The companion film to "Flags of Our Fathers" shows the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view. Starting with the building of fortifications, hiding from relentless bombardment, and fending off an equally strong attack as American troops land on the island.

"Letters from Iwo Jima" just like "Flags of Our Fathers" is a first rate war movie with a relevant message with its critical nature. "Flags" showed the selling of war and "Letters" does the same, albeit with a different mind-set. Japan was an empire governed by a monarch back then so the military mentality was quite different, but it is also important to note the similarities. Especially at the base of the social pyramid where it is quite apparent that people are people no matter where you go.

Virtually all of the uber-patriotic tendencies that were rampant in Imperial Japan during WWII were also in Nazi Germany and, as both "Flags" and "Letters" demonstrate in the United States as well. People were used for the purpose of the government and were fed propaganda just the same. Maybe a different in a different form, but in the end it is all the same.

Ken Wantanbe is the film's highlight as a military man torn between his sense of duty and his inner feelings. As commander of the island he sees amongst his men the fanaticism, the pacifism, the "just do our job" crowd, and many other configurations of thought in between and mixed with the others. Even strange that some men initially want to fight and are proud to serve in the military and what's shocking is that some of their wives and mothers believe the same.

That paints a landscape of war as something amidst all of the stereotypes that have been made of it. Since that is where the truth usually lies, amidst all the gray matter. --- 9/10

Rated R: war violence/carnage


116 of 145 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 353 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

2 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Sun, Black Sand See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$89,097, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$13,756,082

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$68,673,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed